House was a concrete cast of the inside of an entire Victorian terraced house completed in autumn 1993, exhibited at the location of the original house – 193 Grove Road – in East London (all the houses in the street had earlier been knocked down by the council). It drew mixed responses, winning her both the Turner Prize for best young British artist in 1993 (the first women to ever win the award) and the K Foundation art award for worst British artist. Tower Hamlets London Borough Council demolished House on 11 January 1994, a decision which caused some controversy itself.
Many of Whiteread’s works are casts of ordinary domestic objects and, in numerous cases, the space the objects do not inhabit (often termed the “negative space”) — instead producing a solid cast of where the space within a container would be; particular parts of rooms, the area underneath furniture, for example. She says the casts carry “the residue of years and years of use”. Whiteread mainly focuses on the line and the form for her pieces.
For the better part of three decades Montreal multidisciplinary artist Guy Laramee has worked as a stage writer, director, composer, a fabricator of musical instruments, a singer, sculptor, painter and writer. Among his sculptural works are two incredible series of carved book landscapes and structures entitled Biblios and The Great Wall, where the dense pages of old books are excavated to reveal serene mountains, plateaus, and ancient structures. Of these works he says:
“So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint Romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are.”
In this incredible installation by Henrique Oliveira, we see architectural beams and columns morph into tree branches. Entitled Baitogogo, the 2,200 sq ft (204 sq. m) site-specific installation was on display from 21 June 2013 to 9 September 2013 at Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
The large installation was created from reclaimed tapumes – a plywood material traditionally used in Brazilian towns to construct the hoardings around construction sites. Oliveria collects the discarded tapumes from the streets of São Paulo, where he both lives and works. The veneer-like strips were bent into shape and nailed together to form the installation’s branches. Further wooden veneers were fixed to the structure to give it a bark-like texture and appearance.
Amsterdam-based tattoo artist Jay Freestyle doesn’t use any sketches or stencils when he tattoos his customers. Born to Chinese parents, the 29 year-old grew up in South Africa before moving to Amsterdam a decade ago. Although many compare his unique style to watercolor paintings, there are also additional elements like pointillism, geometrical shapes, realism and abstract art at play.
Kenyan born, Wangechi Mutu is an artist and sculptor who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Mutu is considered by many to be one of the most important contemporary African artists of recent years, and her work has achieved much global acclaim.
Her installation, Suspended Playtime is a series of bundles of garbage bags, wrapped in gold twine as if suspended in spiders’ webs, all suspended from the ceiling over the viewer. The installation makes reference to the common use of garbage bags as improvised soccer balls and other playthings by African children.